Since most cases of sinusitis are caused by a virus, your doctor or pharmacist may only recommend oral (e.g., phenylephrine*, pseudoephedrine) or topical (e.g., oxymetazoline, xylometazoline) decongestants, saline nasal sprays or rinses, and pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, to help relieve symptoms. If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or prostate problems, or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, talk to your doctor before taking these medications.
Decongestant sprays should not be used for more than 3 to 5 days in a row or they can cause "rebound congestion." Steam inhalation and cool mist humidifiers may also help. It may help to add eucalyptus and menthol-based decongestants to the hot water. Although they are safe for adults, decongestants are not recommended for young children.
If these measures do not improve symptoms after 7 days (for adults) or 10 to 14 days (for children), or if your symptoms are severe, then your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are not usually prescribed because acute sinusitis is usually viral in nature. If antibiotics are required, they are usually taken for 10 to 14 days. If the infection becomes chronic (lasting more than 3 months) the antibiotic therapy may be used for longer, usually up to 3 weeks. Before starting on any antibiotics, your doctor may ask you about any previous antibiotic use as well as your medical history. It's important that you take all of the antibiotic medication as prescribed, even after symptoms have disappeared. Otherwise the bacteria could return in a form that's resistant to the antibiotic.
For chronic sinusitis, your doctor may prescribe a corticosteroid (nasal spray or tablets) with or without antibiotics. Your doctor may also suggest saline rinses and decongestants to relieve your symptoms. Antihistamines may be suggested if allergies are contributing to chronic sinusitis. Surgery may be an option for people with chronic sinusitis that is not responding to treatment.
There's no guaranteed way to prevent all causes of sinusitis, but you can reduce your risk of viral infections by washing your hands frequently and properly, avoiding tobacco smoke, and reducing your exposure to things you are allergic to.
*All medications have both common (generic) and brand names. The brand name is what a specific manufacturer calls the product (e.g., Tylenol®). The common name is the medical name for the medication (e.g., acetaminophen). A medication may have many brand names, but only one common name. This article lists medications by their common names. For information on a given medication, check our Drug Information database. For more information on brand names, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2017. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/condition/getcondition/Sinusitis